Ignoring consumer behaviour is making a date with failure

Priscilla Muhiu

Ms Priscilla Muhiu, My Dawa’s Country Director.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Ms Muhiu joined the tech industry years ago, starting as a marketing manager at OLX.
  • She says she has learnt that leadership requires understanding the career ambitions of her team.

Maintaining a constant eye on consumer behaviour and macro-economic happenings are some of the most critical things for a business to succeed through shocks, Ms Priscilla Muhiu, My Dawa’s Country Director believes.

She cites the example of changes the Covid-19 pandemic brought to businesses and a new challenge for them to invest in understanding their customers. Any venture that ignores the consumer makes a date with imminent collapse.

This is the wisdom she says she has amassed dealing with different types of customers at a number of technology firms in the country, including OLX, Glovo and Sendy.

“The consumer is at the heart of every business and it’s critical for a business to keep up with the ever changing consumer needs. A classic example is the consumer behaviour changes that happened during the Covid-19 period," she says.

“The consumer became more health conscious and more price conscious due to the economic impact of the pandemic. They also embraced e-commerce more during Covid to avoid going to public places. To remain relevant, businesses had to adapt accordingly and adjust their strategy to meet their consumer needs,” Ms Muhiu says.

Consumer behaviour changes

She also holds the view that any business that is in the dark as consumer behaviour changes will be rendered obsolete and that businesses should also not ignore other major economic factors that could impact their services.

“A business should also continuously understand the macro economic factors that may impact their business/industry. This will help the business to identify potential opportunities to scale their business. For instance, for a high end brand, if the consumer purchasing power is decreasing due to economic factors, then maybe they could consider launching a cheaper brand and with minimal compromise on quality, with the aim of remaining relevant to the consumer,” she says.

Priscilla Muhiu

Ms Priscilla Muhiu, My Dawa’s Country Director.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The My Dawa Country Director – a company that offers medical services to people at home – says even at her company, staff understand better than to ignore any happenings, whether directly or indirectly affecting the sector.

Ms Muhiu joined the tech industry years ago, starting as a marketing manager at OLX, which has since changed name and ownership, before joining other tech-based enterprises.

Positively influence behaviour

“After about seven years, I left OLX and joined Sendy for about 10 months, then Glovo came knocking. I joined Glovo as Head of Marketing for Africa where I stayed for one and a half years, rising to the position of General Manager. I was the GM for about two years and I recently moved to My Dawa as the Country Director,” she recounts.

Ms Muhiu says she has also learnt the leadership attributes of taking it as her responsibility to understand the career ambitions of her team and working together with them to achieve their dreams.

“I believe in creating an environment where teams feel empowered to do more and it is my responsibility as a leader to also bring out the best in them. I also believe that as a leader, you need to be able to positively influence the behaviour of those for whom you are responsible. A leader should also protect their teams from outside interference and they should and really believe that you have got their back.”

On the other hand, she says that through her career and leadership, she has learnt that poor performers will make your top performers leave because top performers love working with other top performers.

“Leadership is difficult and it cannot be about the maintenance of the status quo. You need to work on getting your team to think differently, inspire them to dream more, do more, learn more and become more,” she says.